Alfred Brendel retired in 2008, after a long and meaningful career as a concert pianist. I have particularly enjoyed his interpretations of Franz Schubert. Perhaps he had a way, as a fellow Austrian, to sense the deep feeling and the pathos of Schubert’s compositions.
In his last CD release recorded in the year of his retirement (2008), Brendel gives his final public performances in solo recital and in concert, revealing a master musician in total command of his art. This 2-CD album captures these two memorable occasions. Brendel’s farewell recital featured composers with whom he is most closely associated throughout his career:
- Compositions by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.
It is also fitting that Alfred Brendel’s final public performance should be in Vienna’s beautiful Musikverein, with the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra with whom he has enjoyed a long and meaningful collaboration. The concert was conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, and the CD booklet includes Brendel’s own notes on the recital repertoire.
Here is an article on this topic that appeared at The Guardian:
I attended a concert by Brendel a few years back, and I saw a slight decline in his playing. He decided to re-invent himself, however, and he now conducts demonstration lectures in which he uses his playing capabilities to augment and expand his lecture content. What a great idea that was!
Watch now to see and hear how Brendel penetrates the beauty of Schubert’s Impromptu Number 3, Op. 90. That’s Brendel for you!